People in Mosul call it “the Biter” or “Clipper” – a metal instrument newly introduced by Isis officials to punish women whose clothes they claim do not completely conceal their body. A former school director, who fled from the city earlier this month, describes the tool as causing agonising pain by clipping off pieces of flesh.
Fatima, a 22-year-old house-wife who does not want to give her full name, said she had finally escaped from Mosul after several failed attempts because her children were starving and Isis had become more violent and sadistic compared with a year ago, especially towards women.
“The Biter has become a nightmare for us,” Fatima said after reaching safety in Mabrouka Camp for displaced people near Ras al-Ayn in Kurdish-controlled north-east Syria. “My sister was punished so harshly last month because she had forgotten her gloves and left them at home.”